Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Children's Hospital

Hello again :)  It is strange blogging backwards..for most of my posts I am usually w/ in the moment so it is pretty easy to write..now I am backtracking  while on Pain meds so it makes things lets just say a little more "interesting" I think I am going to change my format up for this post since it's a Flashback (sorry I love the show LOST so it's my shout out to it...haha..)

I spent 9 days in Children's Hospital most of it heavily medicated so memories are somewhat hazy..but I think for my fellow hipsters I will bullet point important hip things that happen in the hospital for the 411 and some quick stories that I do recall for the rest of my friends and readers of this blog..so lets see how this flows...

-3 days w/ catheter/ no getting out of bed/ heavily medicated/ in all honesty don't remember much of this time now/ I have heard from people around me that I wasn't feeling "to well".could have been some tears and pain.  I know I needed oxygen for the first 24 hours because of my lungs and the pain meds..every time I started falling asleep my oxygen level dropped significantly..so I stayed awake the first 24 hours..D was by my side that whole night watching me and that stat machine..he wasn't going to let me stop breathing.. that's for sure!

-My push button medicine machine was the greatest invention in the world to me at first...every 7 minutes I pushed the button and no more pain...but what I did get in return was a bad case of the "itchies" my skin became so itchy after awhile they had to put in another IV line to give me meds to counteract the itchiness..I seriously was so out of it that I actually made myself bleed from all the scratching.  Not sure what you can take from this piece of info..maybe bring gloves to the hospital just in case..protect you from you kind of deal... .

-Once the catherter was out they had me sit up in a chair...supposedly my Mom and Karina came in about that time and found me asleep in the chair w/ a drink in my hand...which reminds me..I spilled almost everything I touched during my 9 days there..drinking and drugs do not go hand in hand ;-p I remember being extremely thirsty but had difficulty holding a cup w/ a straw w/ out dropping it or falling asleep while drinking.  Sidenote:  I normally do not have this problem :)

- I started PT I think on Day 4 or was it Day 5..either way it began. Usually I am a gentle, and sweet matured person, but I turned a little "meaner"every time my PT lady came into the room..I thought of her as my sworn enemy the moment she had me get up from the bed and made me realize how much pain I was truly in even through the morphine (short release and extended,) Toradol, and Valium.  First she brought me by wheelchair to the parallel bars (did they want me to start doing gymnastics????) I guess they wanted me to hold myself up w/ them and take a few steps..I think I personally got rid of that memory on my own. During my nine days we progressed from the parallel bars to crutches to learning how to use a wheelchair on my own. We decided at the end we had a love/hate relationship..I am ok w/ that. :)

-Started CPM machine right away..8 hours a day the whole 9 nine days I was there and that also continued at the rehab hospital. It wasn't as awful as I thought it would be but lets say if i never see a CPM machine again in my life I will be ok w/ that.

-Dr M was a great Surgeon..he came and visited me every day (never had a surgeon do that before) and was on top of all my health care needs.  We ended each visit by hugging it out..after sawing apart one's hip and seeing the inside a handshake just seems to impersonal...well that's just me ;)

- The Nurses there were great.. but definitely understaffed (which I have found in all my health care settings which is why mistakes happen and people don't get the right help or enough help) But they were great..one even re-pierced my nose and it didn't hurt at all.... then again I was on a lot of pain meds :)

   -I had a triangle bar to help me sit up in bed..it worked. I think I may have "Sarah Connor Arms" by the end of this journey...BONUS!

-I had a lot of difficulty w/ the epidural..pretty much it didn't work that well...They had a pain team come in and try to make it work which in turn provided me w/  a short amount of time where I got no pain relief (still trying to block that memory out) as well as a 1 hour episode where I didn't feel anything in my body from the neck down..normally that would have been very concerning, but at that moment it was nice to have total pain relief.  They took it out after that it  and just loaded me up w/ heavy pain meds..I developed a spinal headache which could have been relieved by doing another form of epidural (how ironic) called a blood patch, but since I was already taking blood thinner injections at this point that couldn't happen.  Their next route was to keep me in bed, lights off ,and drink 5 red bulls and coffee (normally I am a decaf tea/coffee type a gal) I was thoroughly surprised that the red bulls did not give me wings and fly me away...in my morphined out state I was kinda of looking forward to that ;) It did seem to help w/ the headache a bit but it took about a week to fully clear up.

-For this surgery they prescribed me a 4 week run of lovenox injections..A blood thinner (blood clots are a big risk w/ this surgery)  It was the first time I had to inject myself w/ a needle. So now they give drugged out Sarah a needle w/ important meds..clearly a wise move..and show me how to give myself this injection..I thought fainting could be a possibility but I  surprised myself and did it! The nurse then said to me afterwards,  "I am a nurse and I couldn't do that to myself"  Sarah "...uh..ok..glad you didn't tell me that beforehand at least..."     I will finally be done w/ these injections in 2 days..then I can start taking motrin to try to help w/ all the swelling..yay!  ps. For anyone who has to do this in the future your belly will look like you have a case of the chicken pox  as well as looking like someone has taken a beating on you and bruised your whole belly, but it really doesn't hurt that much...honestly :)

-Another helpful piece of advice!!! Noise Reduction Headphones..why didn't I think of this during all my other previous surgeries..what a difference it makes w/ "hospital life"  Thank You Dad so much for loaning me your "magical" headphones!!!

Thank you to everyone for phone calls, flowers, gifts, cards, visits, and most importantly support...I felt all your love and it meant so much to me and  it definitely got me through this XOXOX

Thank You to all my friends and family who came to visit me..I am sorry If I didn't remember all your visits....LOL...but I know your positivity  and support got me through the hardest 9 days of my life XOXO

Thank You to all my parents who were there by my side and advocated along side me every step of the way! Dad, Ellen, and Mom  ..I LOVE you all so much!!! Thank You for being there for every part of it!  XOXO

Thank You to Nicole and Mike for having "sleepover parties" w/ me on night 2 and 3 :) You guys are amazing friends for staying overnight in the hospital w/ out having to..LOL..It meant the world to me!

Thank You to D who spent the other 7 nights w/ me and was by my side through every difficult and scary moment there...no words can ever express my gratitude and thanks for what you did for me!!!!! Thank you for keeping me strong and for giving me comfort when I needed it most !!!XOXOXOXO


  1. Hi, I also had a same surgery a year ago at Children's (different doctor). I went to ICU for 5days due to the respiratory problem, and discharged after 11days. I don't remember anything about my hospital stay just like you. Somehow pain management for this type of surgery is difficult and the recovery is even harder. I hope you will feel better soon.

  2. wow..icu..that is intense to say the least!! The pain is surprising me (not sure why since they tore up the side of my leg and cut through my bone) but still surprising me nonetheless...how is your pain now?? How are you doing now?? When did you see your pain to start to get better so you could function more?? Thank You :) Hope you are doing well!

  3. Keep strong Sarah. i hope the surgery works for you . any surgery is tough but i am praying that the mRi shows something else causeing my pain I don't want open hip surgery. Yuck good luck to you sending you hugs

  4. Hi SJ,
    Everyone is different. I was taking Percoset daily until 5 month post-op and 3-4 times/week afterwards. I was able to walk outside with two crutches 6wks post-op and went back to work 2.5 month post-op. I'm still using one crutch for most of the time. Just had hardware removal surgery a month ago and I'm feeling much better. I would say don't expect to have pain free life immediately after the surgery. It takes time, really. I'm finally feeling happy that I had this surgery.